March 12, 2023 Third Sunday of Lent

Welcome Father Chinedu Today’s Readings: Ex 17:3-7 | Rom 5:1-2, 5-8 | Jn 4:5-42


The readings for Sunday speak of a key desire within us, a longing, a craving. The best symbol for this desire is the thirst for water. […]

You can fast from food for but not from water. In the Gospel Jesus uses a water as a symbol to the Samaritan woman about slaking her thirst forever, about putting a flowing fountain of water right inside her. He is talking about the longing each of us has deep within for “the love poured forth from God in Jesus through the Holy Spirit.” That is the way Paul puts it in the second reading. This need of ours is much like thirst except that it is more subtle. We use many other substitutes to fill it. Food, work, looks, accomplishment, alcohol, other persons, sexual satisfaction, and so on. They do not work. They leave us croaking the famous line “Is that all there is?”

It is not. We are constructed in such a way that without real love we die. St. Ignatius points to this fact again and again. Our small selves are constructed with a soul that can open wide enough to admit even the very presence of God himself. And God is able to become whatever size will fit us. Tagore, a non-Christian poet, put it this way:

“What is there but the sky, O Sun, that can hold thine image? I dream of thee, but to serve thee I can never hope,” the dewdrop wept and said; “I am too small to take thee unto me, great lord, and my life is all tears.”

“I illumine the limitless sky, yet I can yield myself up to a tiny drop of dew,” thus the Sun said; “I shall become but a sparkle of light and fill you, and your little life will be a laughing orb.”

Nothing else can slake our heart’s thirst for God except God. Jesus, take your staff, strike our hearts of stone, and cause a fountain of God-love to spring forth within us.

We pray with the Samaritan woman, “Sir, give me this water.”

Source of reflection: © 2023, Father John Foley, SJ, Source of image: JESUS MAFA. Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, from Art in the Christian Tradition, Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved March 11, 2023]. Original source: (contact page:


  • 12 March - Opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) before Mass, from 12:20pm –> Father Chinedu Nweke
  • 26 March - Additional opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent, after Mass –> Father Eckhard